NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy percent of women in the United States are oblivious to some of menopause's very serious side effects, such as heart disease, dental disease, and vision impairment. This surprising lack of awareness was uncovered in a new survey released to coincide with World Menopause Awareness Day on October 18th. Conducted by Womaness, the female-led menopause brand, the survey, Menopause in the US, indicates that women are largely in the dark about one of life's most significant health milestones.
Nearly 50 million women in the United States are entering menopause with a lack of relief, education, and support. While almost 90% of those surveyed associate hot flashes, sleeplessness, and vaginal dryness with menopause, the survey uncovered that awareness of menopause symptoms beyond those three radically drops and there is an alarming disconnect between women and their doctors. The findings suggest that healthcare providers should take a more active approach to preparing women for menopause when they are in their late 30's, before it's too late to positively impact their experiences with menopause. The decisions that a woman makes, or fails to make, at this point in her life can directly influence her future physical and mental health.
"Women spend more than a third of their lives in menopause, yet they enter this phase of their lives not knowing much about the road ahead," said Mayo Clinic's Dr. Ekta Kapoor. "Women often start this journey with a lot of misinformation about menopause and treatment options. We need to change that dynamic so that women can go through this important and inevitable change feeling empowered by knowledge. Let's start talking about menopause, and let's start early in life so that there is ample time to prepare for the journey ahead."
Taken in aggregate, the respondents scored a low 65 out of a possible 100 in understanding three factors: menopause symptom knowledge, decision-making capabilities, and self-efficacy. Symptom knowledge alone scored even lower, with an average score of 57. Income, marital status, and education had no correlation to greater symptom knowledge, nor did access to healthcare with nearly three-quarters of respondents saying that they had a gynecologist. Less surprising: age was the single factor associated with increased menopause knowledge, indicating that most women do gain some level of understanding of menopause once they have gone through it but still don't have deep knowledge of the longer-term effect on overall health.
"Being prepared and knowing what steps to take earlier in life can help offset many of menopause's more adverse outcomes," said Sally Mueller, CEO and co-founder of Womaness. "In the same way that women need financial literacy to live successful, independent lives, they also need menopause literacy to optimize their health. Knowing what the symptoms are, and the options for treatment, will help women live much richer and healthier lives from their late 40's on."
Menopause signifies the end of a woman's reproductive years and begins after she has not menstruated for a full year. The onset of menopause varies, but it most often occurs when women are in their late 40's and early 50's. Perimenopause can begin up to 10 years earlier, as early as late 30's, as women's ovaries begin to produce less estrogen. Treatment for diseases such as breast cancer can cause early onset menopause or menopause-like symptoms for many women.
Womaness co-founders Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs are committed to leading a "menopositivity" movement to change the conversation around menopause through inspiration, education, and accessible product solutions. Sally first saw the need for greater awareness and options for women through her own experience with the onset of menopause. Since then, Womaness has amassed a vocal community as well as doctors and other experts in the field who have advised them throughout their journey. Womaness products, which are available at Target, address three of the biggest perimenopause and menopause concerns: skincare, sexual health, and sleep.
As part of its celebration of October's World Menopause Awareness Month, Womaness has pledged a $25,000 donation to Mayo Clinic to help support Women's Health research and education, including menopause.
Womaness undertook an online survey of 1,000 women ages 35 – 65, with an average age of 54 and a median household income of $75,000 geographically representing all four U.S. Census regions. 65% of the women surveyed were married.
Womaness, founded by Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs, is a collection of modern, innovative menopause products developed for women, by women that offer solutions from head to toe (and everything in between). With community, education, and inspiration, Womaness sparks the power of menopositivity.
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